History of Rosacea

Posted in Rosacea at 4:16 pm

The French surgeon, Dr. Guy de Chauliac, in the 14th century, was the first person known to describe rosacea medically as a skin condition. Dr. de Chauliac talked about “red lesions in the face, particularly on the nose and cheeks.” He called the condition “goutterose” (French for “pink droplet”) or “couperose” (now a common French term for rosacea). Others referred to rosacea as “gutta rosa” (the Latin version of “goutterose”) or “pustule de vin” (French for “pimples of wine”).

References to rosacea were also known in early literature. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Shakespeare’s Henry V include descriptions of men with red faces and enlarged noses. Artists through the centuries also have depicted rosacea in paintings of red faces and bulbous red noses. A painting in the Louvre, “The Old Man and His Grandson” by Ghirlandiao around the year 1480, is a well-known example.

Referenced from: de Bersaques, J: Historical Notes on Rosacea. European Journal of Dermatology. 1995;5:16-22.

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